We used our sense of fun and curiosity to "grow" this app, much like a chemically curious human would grow crystals in a petri-dish at home! What you see here is not only a functionally intuitive and useful app, but one that appeals to the curiosity of the human mind and keeps you coming back for more. The use-appeal (oh-la-la!) factor was stirred in by our UX and design specialists
What it does
The current version of the app utilizes 3 NIST databases plus elemental data from the public domain to provide a sleek interface with intuitive search functionality. Users can search for elements and compounds based on name, formula and even common names like moth balls or water. Every element and compound has a details page which lists various properties for it. Users may save their favorite elements and compound for quick reference, or even share the data with their colleagues or friends.
How we built it
Using the NIST machine readable datasets and other open source data, we prioritized the relevant data points and designed the app to provide the best user experience for a broad audience.
Challenges I ran into
Transforming the machine readable datasets to a user friendly application where we could showcase was a big user experience challenge as there is plenty of data which could overwhelm the user.
Time and resource limitations put a cap on a lot of features we had in mind. Our team is big on interactivity and gamification and have won several awards for mobile apps, so the hardest part was scaling back and putting many features that we would have liked to add on the back burner.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
We showcased the best traits of our team - we're highly creative, motivated and focused. And this app shows that we can pull of a fully functional production quality app within the given amount of time.
What we learned
A pretty good amount of Chemistry! And that there are a vast array of websites and tools for Chemistry out there that are significantly under-utilized. An app like this can open the doors of interest and learning pursuits to a large group of people who might otherwise not consider it.
What's next for ChemBook
As Buzz Light year said "to infinity and beyond". And towards that - with more time and resources, version 2 would expand the search and reference functions, provide additional chemistry tools such as comparing multiple different elements and compounds, and add significant gamification features for learning and discovery.